I've just moved into a new managerial role and looking forward to implementing the Trinity for the first time when team members start coming on board.

To take notes in One-on-One's, do you use the Tracking Sheet or do you just use a Notebook. What do you find works best?

My thoughts:

  • I like the idea of the Tracking Sheet and storing them in a Manila Folder for each Direct.

    However, I've heard Mike and Mark recommend writing Coaching Notes on the BACK of the previous week's One-on-One Sheet. If so, when storing in a a Manila Folder, I'll be pulling sheets out, flipping them over, etc.

  • It sounded like Mike and Mark have their notes in "book-type format" somehow. When it's in front of you, the left side would therefore be the BACK in the previous week, and the right side is the FACE if this week. They recommended to write Coaching Notes on the LEFT side (back of the previous week).

    To do that, do you store your Tracking Sheet's in a Ring Binder for each Direct?


Tim B

mattpalmer's picture

I'm going with the manila folder at the moment, although I can see the downsides of it for coaching notes -- but I've always been a huge manila folder fan, so I might stick with it and use a different colour of paper or something for coaching notes.  I personally have always disliked ring binders, because you've got to be so careful with the sheets of paper or you'll tear them out.  Mark mentioned at the Sydney EMC that he used to use ring binders, but now that he travels so much the extra space taken up in his bag wasn't worth it.  I believe he uses a smaller sized sheet for his O3s and keeps them (loose) in his notebook, but he also showed a spiral-bound book of bulk O3 sheets that looked rather interesting.  One book per direct, just plow through them.  Looked like it kept everything pretty neat and tidy.

RookieDuck's picture


When I started O3s, I could not give up my habit of using computer for just about anything related to work, so I picked up a mind mapping tool called FreeMind and have since then kept each direct's each O3 meeting's notes in a separate mindmap. Mindmap format is really useful. I can easily cut-and-paste info to/from the notes and the content of the notes is searchable. The only problem is that using the computer distracts the discussion/eye contact with the direct. That is such a big minus that I've considered moving to paper notes a couple of times, but haven't done so yet. I don't have room for 10 paper notebooks in my laptop bag, when traveling and wishing to keep my O3 notes with me.

Comments and feedback most welcome.


timburgan's picture

Thanks Matt - after months and months - my directs have started (mix of contractors and internal staff) and the first one-on-one is this Wednesday. Going with the manila folder approach. Thanks for your comment.

By the way, are you going to the upcoming Sydney EMC in May? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get support from the office to attend (they're fixated how management training is all provided "in house"), so I'm contemplating taking leave and just flying down off my own bat.

gpeden's picture

 i use the MT O3 form, then I scan the forms weekly to PDF, and auto-forward the PDFs to Evernote with folders for each direct. its pretty easy.I use the goals/deliverables for this week to seed the forms for next week then shred the original form. I use as much short hand as possible to focus on the conversation rather than on my note taking.  "FB+" "FB-"

I tweaked the O3 form a bit with a few cues for the feedback model, and some key 'pillars' of our company values (based on the "Oz Principle", etc. for feedback.

I don't like having paper forms with feedback notes (especially adjusting) floating around - thats just me, and I try to automate as many steps as possible.

I keep a pile of blank O3s forms on my table - and use them for directs and peers (anyone really).  Its been about 2 years now so its pretty routine.



DiSC 7511

mattpalmer's picture

I'm still storing my O3 forms in a manila folder, and haven't come up against any problems -- although I'm still not coaching extensively, and what little I'm doing just goes on the O3 form.  I can see the utility of scanning and shredding the O3 forms if (like me) you've got somewhere else to store all your contemporaneous notes (in-the-moment feedback, etc).  I keep everything I want to talk about with people (*cough*feedback*cough*) in my GTD "lists of everything" system, and all of that gets archived (most valuable thing evah come reviews time).

Tim, I almost certainly won't be at the MT conferences in Sydney in May, but I've convinced the CEO that every manager should take the course, so you'll have the opportunity to meet most of my colleagues.  Also, if the MT meetup happens ( I'll almost certainly be going to that.